Big Data for People

Human-Computer Interaction Researcher
Manager, Human Interfaces Group
Mission Operations
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab

Introduction to InfoVis Techniques for Model-Based Systems Engineering

Sindiy, O., Litomisky, K., Davidoff, S. & Dekens, F. (2013). Introduction to Information Visualization (InfoVis) techniques for Model-Based Systems Engineering, in Proc. Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER’13), C.J.J. Paredis, Bishop, C. & Bodner, D. (Eds.). To appear.
One of the barriers to the success of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) efforts is realizing effective communication of the output diagrams—i.e., modeling views—that address the concerns of, and inform, a broad spectrum of customer stakeholders. Abstracting and implementing the visual presentation of views—as products of very complex system models—is nearly as important to the effectiveness of these efforts to inform decision-making as the technical competency and completeness of those models. However, the information visualization of data from complex system models is often treated second to the technical considerations. This paper will introduce high-level guidelines for visual presentation of MBSE efforts. These insights will be presented such that they conform to numerous system modeling languages/representation standards. The insights are drawn from best practices of Information Visualization (InfoVis) as applied to aerospace-based applications. For example, the paper will discuss how modelers can to take advantage of functionality in existing modeling notions and software tools that implement them, and also the importance of keeping in mind the final presentation media and historically accepted viewpoint styles. The paper will also present a concept for how to move beyond traditionally static outputs; in turn, allowing non-modeling experts to dynamically manipulate the output views within the context of the stakeholders’ real-time concerns and needs to answer specific questions about the modeled system(s).
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